Have you ever had to make really tough decisions?
When I say that, I'm talking about a particular type of really tough decision.
I'm talking about the type you agonise over, the one that keeps you awake at night and leaves that horrible sinking feeling of dread because you are torn. Really deeply torn.
I'm going to give you an example.
It might not be one you exactly went through. However, if you know where I’m coming from then I believe that it will resonate with you.
I am a money mindset coach for those who don't know what I do. So if I'm not typing my happy little life away on this beloved keyboard about money and life, I'm coaching. I love the very bones of both of these.
I've been lucky over the last few years and often get asked to talk at events or do pieces with the media. You lucky duck, you might be thinking, what are you complaining about?
I know, I know, but hear me out.
I pivoted my life a few years ago from a long career in corporate and embarked on a No Spend Year, which evolved into what I am today. I am part of the lucky few who actually enjoy their job. Which I am grateful for, on a daily basis.
However, as with even the most perfect job, some parts flow easier than others.
We don't have all the strengths
This is where my Achilles heel kicks in.
I am pretty introverted.
Getting up on stage is far from my first choice of ways to spend time. In truth, I find it utterly exhausting and nerve-racking.
Don't get me wrong, I love the people, and I love the subject matter. I just struggle with the on-stage bit.
But that is not even the tough decision because I know I can do that part if I really push myself.
The big decision was that I was recently asked to speak at a large event. It was a well-thought-of event which would be a great move from a business perspective.
It would put me in front of a whole new audience and 'raise my profile' notably.
So what's the problem, Kel?
Here's my problem….
I was vetoed from talking about anything that would make a difference. I was limited to the fluffy side of money, the ineffectual stuff that was all about ‘you don't need to change. It will all just work out.’ That sort of stuff.
It makes my stomach churn.
I'm all about being yourself, that is for sure! But the very definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing and expecting a different result.
While being supportive and encouraging is a vital part of what I do, it has to be in tandem with taking action. Taking action and growing as a person is the pivotal thing here.
Most of us are stressed out about money, with so many in debt and many more not understanding how to save and build the healthy relationships with money that we need to get ahead.
My job is NOT to say, 'stay spending as you are spending, and it will all be okay.'
My job IS to help people see where they can improve and make money work for them rather than against them in a simple way that works.
This means that I am not going to be the flavour of the month with everyone. I have to make my peace with that.
I will cheerlead anyone trying to improve their financial situation, and I will support and empower them in any way I can.
But what I can't do as we face a time of uncertainty is to miss the opportunity to teach a room full of people at least one healthy money habit. Or one useful skill they can apply to their lives to help build a better relationship with money.
What do money and confidence have in common?
Money and confidence are skills that can be learned, like flexing muscles. They get stronger over time.
I've been in ridiculous debt, and I hated how it felt.
I've gotten back up to zero and on to financial security from there. I know how good it feels and how much better I sleep at night.
One thing for sure is that I didn't get there because people told me to keep spending without thinking and never learn how to manage money properly.
Everything about the whole event did not fit right.
I did not want to work to someone else's agenda.
I had not come this far to bend.
It did not serve me.
It did not serve the genuine honest people I work with, like you.
I couldn’t, in good faith, tell people to go ahead and buy fancy trinkets if they were not making it to payday.
My dilemma was, do I speak at this event, focus on the fluffy side of things, and get paid a nice sum of money or keep my integrity?
The money in question would be used to build out the business and help more people.
If I stood firm to my integrity and say no, leaving a tempting amount of cash sitting there and missing out on the free advertising.
I agonised over this one. I truly did.
Torn between growing my business and who I was as a person.
Guess what happened….
Yep, my pesky value system won out.
It was tough to make that choice, but I turned the event down.
It all boiled down to one thing.
I had promised myself that if I was to grow and build out my business, it would genuinely help people and not simply give me the quick win. So, therefore, I had to stick to my guns and stay true to who I am and what I teach.
Financial security is so much more than money in the bank. It is living your life in a way that makes sense to you.
It is about making choices that let you sleep well at night.
It is about living your core values and standing in your own worth.
I don't want financial security at any cost. I want it while creating something worthwhile that is the win-win here.
That is the one thing that it all came down to.
My integrity has to come before money.
Even if it means leaving a sizeable sum untouched.
But you know what happened shortly after that?
This was the strangest thing.
Two coaching clients came to me out of the blue, and a solid piece of corporate work landed also.
Together adding up to notably more than the ill-suited event.
All this work is right in my wheelhouse, and I'm looking forward to diving in.
Clearing my space of something that didn't fit, allowed other opportunities to flow in.
I just needed to trust that I was on the right path.
It might be a harder path, it might take a lot longer and be more winding.
But it feels right and I can sleep well in my bed at night.
The moral of this story, dear reader that if something doesn't feel right, say no and keep on going.
Just move on. You'll be better off in the long run.